Christopher Nolan Names The 1 Line From His Past Films That He's Still 'Plagued By'

"At the time, I didn’t even understand it..."
Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan
Francois Durand via Getty Images

Between Inception, his Batman trilogy and, of course, the Oscar-nominated Oppenheimer, director and screenwriter Christopher Nolan is responsible for some of the 21st century’s most iconic on-screen moments.

However, the British filmmaker has admitted there’s one piece of dialogue from a past work of his that he is “plagued by”.

“I’m plagued by a line from The Dark Knight, and I’m plagued by it because I didn’t write it,” he recently admitted to Deadline.

“My brother [Jonathan Nolan, with whom he co-wrote the Batman film] wrote it. It kills me, because it’s the line that most resonates. And at the time, I didn’t even understand it.”

In case you’re curious, Nolan is referring to the line “you either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain”, delivered in the film by Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent, otherwise known as Two-Face.

Aaron Eckhart in The Dark Knight
Aaron Eckhart in The Dark Knight
Warner Bros/Dc Comics/Kobal/Shutterstock

I read it in his draft, and I was like, ‘All right, I’ll keep it in there, but I don’t really know what it means. Is that really a thing?’,” he added.

“And then, over the years since that film’s come out, it just seems truer and truer. In this story, it’s absolutely that. Build them up, tear them down. It’s the way we treat people.”

So far this awards season, Nolan has celebrated massive wins at the Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice Awards and Baftas.

Oppenheimer is leading the way when it comes to nominations at the Oscars next month, with Nolan in prime position to pick up his inaugural win in the Best Director category.


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